Policy Council

Robert Balfanz
The Everyone Graduates Center
Johns Hopkins University

Melody Barnes
Melody Barnes Solutions
Vice Provost for Global Student Leadership Initiatives
Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University

John J. Dilulio Jr.
Frederic Fox Leadership Professor University of Pennsylvania

Sylvia Earle 
Aspen High Seas Initiative 
President and Chairman, Mission Blue 
The Sylvia Earle Alliance 
National Geographic Society Explorer in Residence 

William Galston
Senior Fellow, Governance Studies
Brookings Institute

Michael J. Gerson
Hastert Fellow at Wheaton College
Columnist, The Washington Post

Stephen Goldsmith
Daniel Paul Professor of Government
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government

Robert D. Putnam
Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy
Harvard University

Timothy Shriver
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Special Olympics

Randal C. Teague
Legal Counsel

Senator Harris Wofford
Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania
Assistant to President John F. Kennedy
Chair of America's Promise Alliance

In Memoriam
Amy Kass
James Q. Wilson


Michael J. Gerson

Hastert Fellow at Wheaton College

Michael Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post. He is the author of Heroic Conservatism (HarperOne, 2007) and co-author of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (Moody, 2010). Gerson serves as Senior Advisor at ONE, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases. He is the Hastert Fellow at the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government, and Public Policy at Wheaton College in Illinois. He serves on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience, the Board of Directors of Bread for the World, the Initiative for Global Development Leadership Council, and the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee. He is co-Chair of The Poverty Forum and Co-Chair of the Catholic/Evangelical Dialogue with Dr. Ron Sider. From 2006 to 2009, Gerson was the Roger Hertog Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

Before joining CFR in 2006, Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as Assistant to the President for Policy and Strategic Planning. He was a key administration advocate for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), the fight against global sex trafficking, and funding for women’s justice and empowerment issues. Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Speechwriting and Assistant to the President for Speechwriting and Policy Advisor. Gerson joined Bush's presidential campaign in early 1999 as chief speechwriter and a senior policy adviser.

He was previously a senior editor covering politics at U.S. News and World Report. Gerson was a speechwriter and policy adviser for Jack Kemp and a speechwriter for Bob Dole during the 1996 presidential campaign. He has also served Senator Dan Coats of Indiana as Policy Director. Gerson is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois. He grew up in the St. Louis area and now lives with his wife and sons in northern Virginia.

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